Fashion Designer. Managing Director, La Sari.
Fashion Designer. Managing Director, T.S.S
(1) St. Bridget’s Convent, Colombo.
(2) The Academy of Design (AOD), Colombo; BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design
(University of Northumbria, UK)
Nilanka: Launched my label twelve years ago with a little studio in my mother’s garage, followed by a flagship store in Horton Place. Subsequently, showcased at Colombo Fashion Week and commenced retailing at PR Horton Place.
Thilini: Launched my label in February 2019 and I retail exclusively at PR Horton Place.
A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
Nilanka: A multitasking mother of two girls, who wears many hats, and one of which happens to be Designer and Managing Director of La Sari.
Thilini: A twenty-four-year-old Fashion Designer, eager to travel and explore the world. Designer and Founder of the label, T.S.S. Waiting to one day launch my label globally and make my mark in the world, perhaps before I turn forty?
BE HONEST, FUN OR ANNOYING TO WORK WITH YOUR MUM / DAUGHTER?
Nilanka: Haha! I would love to say ‘annoying’ but she’s quite easy to work with. Hard to satisfy, but easy to work with. Actually, can’t complain because ‘SHE’ is ‘ME.’ My mini-me.
Thilini: Hmmm! To be honest, as cliché as this sounds, I love working with my mum. She gives me a lot of guidance as she is far more experienced than I am. We work quite independently, but I make it a point to seek her opinion and advise every now and again.
DOES YOUR MUM / DAUGHTER INTERFERE WITH YOUR WORK?
Nilanka: I don’t see it as an interference. It is always creative feedback and it’s quite inspirational, at times!
Thilini: Quite often we bounce ideas off each other, and we share ideas that complement each other’s styles and designs. Only annoying thing though is, that she’s almost always right and I have now learnt to listen to her advice first time around instead of debating with her for hours at end.
SHARE WITH US A SECRET ABOUT YOUR MUM / DAUGHTER THAT NO-ONE ELSE KNOWS?
Thilini: Lol! I hope I don’t fall into trouble for this, but my mother is extremely fussy and very hard to please. She also constantly swears every time she has to dress up; she will swear from start to end until she has finished dressing up. My sister and I quietly watch her quite amusingly.
Nilanka: She’s a little heart-breaking fire cracker!
WHO IS YOUR MUM’S FAVORITE CHILD? YOU OR YOUR SISTER?
Thilini; My sister Onali, for sure! Ammi, cuddles her and kisses her way more than she does with me. She won’t openly admit it, but I know my sister is her favorite child. I am definitely the child she can’t live with or without. I drive her nuts!
CLOSER TO YOUR MUM OR TO YOUR DAD?
Thilini: Definitely my mum, I can pretty much talk to her about anything. She’s my best friend, again as cliché as that may sound!
DO YOU BOTH ENVISION WORKING TOGETHER IN THE LONG RUN OR WOULD YOU PREFER TO BUILD YOUR OWN COMPANIES AND BRANDS SEPARATELY?
Nilanka: At present we function independently. I believe this is the best way to give our clients the best of both of us.
Thilini: Currently, we have our own labels, and we intend to keep it separate, as mum caters to a more mature audience and I cater to a mix audience. My sister and I, one day want to collaborate with mom and build our own fashion house. My dream is to one day showcase at Paris Fashion Week (fingers crossed!)
IN A POST COVID WORLD WHICH BUSINESSES DO YOU THINK WILL SUCCEED?
Nilanka: Food, Education and Adult Entertainment!
Thilini: E-Commerce Sites – people prefer to shop online now, and Online Dating Apps. During lockdown, the growth rate of dating apps started to rise and online dating saw a huge surge in growth and popularity as people shifted towards online dating and social distancing.
Lockdown Obsession: Online Shopping
Hobbies: Catching up on sleep, surfing the Internet and arranging my wardrobe (over and over again!)
Favorite Netflix Genre: Rom-Com
Favorite Holiday Destination: Greece
Hidden Talent: I’m OCD! That’s a talent, right?
What’s Out: Skinny Jeans, Tiny Frame Sunglasses and Biker Shorts
Social Media – Yay or Nay: Definitely Yay! I enjoy scrolling though Facebook.
Current Playlist: Country Music
What’s Trending: Slow Fashion. Brands are also eager to produce more sustainable products.
Lockdown Obsession: Bossing my sister. Teaching her how to be a ‘Good Minion’
Mentor: My Mum
Hobbies: Cooking and experimenting with new recipes.
Favorite Netflix Genre: Crime Documentaries
Hidden Talent: Singing! Mum gifted me a karaoke machine, I’ve been spending almost all of lockdown roaming around the house singing my heart out. Bet my mum regrets it now!
Favorite Holiday Destination: Greece and Hawaii
What’s In: Shoulder Pads, Head Scarfs, Monochrome, Sustainability, Hot Pink, Green, Print on Print and Leopard Print.
Mom or Dad: The Cooler Parent? Lol! Neither. Both are conservative and strict.
Social Media – Yay or Nay: Yay! Yay! Yay! Instagram for the win!
Current Playlist: RnB
Live in Sri Lanka? Or can’t wait to migrate? Gosh, that’s a tough one. I love living in Sri Lanka. There is no place like home. But at the same time I want to go out there and see what opportunities come my way. May be live out for a decade or so and then return back home as a more experienced global local, so that I can add more value.